Being in middle school, I am always trying to figure out fun ways to spice up my go-to bag lunches. Here are some of my favorite ways to go beyond the usual sad sandwich.
- Mason jar masterpieces. From salads to soups to pastas, one of my absolute favorite ways to pack lunches is using mason jars. I love to make layered salads, putting the moist ingredients (like grilled chicken or tomatoes) in the bottom, and topping it off with greens. They’re super cute, too.
- Make meals ahead of time. Prepping lunches ahead of time has been a huge lifesaver for me, especially when I’m rushing to catch the bus in the morning. I usually prep my lunches before the week starts and mix it up with a quinoa salad or soup that holds well in the fridge or freezer.
- Elevated sandwich toppers. When I pack a sandwich for lunch, I love to elevate it with a little bit of fresh basil, veggies or a spread of chipotle mayo. Adding a little extra garnish can go a long way and get you out of that sandwich rut.
- Add a sauce or spread. Carrot sticks and apple slices don’t sound so exciting until you throw in spicy hummus or hoisin. Dipping sauces or spreads can give life to almost anything from veggies to your favorite protein.
Ariana Feygin is a 14-year old chef and Minnesota’s first contestant on Fox’s MasterChef Junior. She is the founder of her business Ariana’s Kitchen and is passionate about philanthropy.